The salvation of Jesus Christ is holistic, by that I mean it is complete. With that said we should understand there are many dimensions to living in harmony with God. I think most of us understand in one sense salvation is a legal transaction. We as humans are guilty of sin, and as sinners we stand against a God who is holy. Because God is holy he must deal with our sin because it is an assault against who he is. Enter Jesus, who died on the cross in our place. Jesus gets what we deserve; we get what Jesus deserved. Doesn’t sound fair, but that is grace.
If salvation is just a legal transaction in which we are forgiven of our sins so we can go to heaven, then salvation essentially becomes a ticket to somewhere else; salvation kicks in when we die. But Jesus did not teach this. Jesus said that when we believe, we have, “… crossed over from death to life,” (John 5:24). When I enter into a relationship with God through Christ, I am connected with God now, and forever.
Jesus salvation is now, and that is important for us to understand because I need God now, I need healing now, I need help now. Yes, there are greater things that will come someday, but salvation is now.
Give Him Praise!
The Law of the Jewish Religion was first written by the finger of God on tablets of stone. Jesus brought to fulfillment the Law of the Jewish religion, and in so doing fulfilled all the ceremonies of the Law. Therefore, there is no need today for the Temple, priests, and sacrifices – with the exception of communion and baptism.
Jesus came into this world, and when we allow him to write, with the Finger of God, on the tablet of our heart His Law we then no longer need or want a tablet of stone, for we know when we put our self in bondage to the tablets of stone, written with the finger of God, we are in bondage to a thing depleted of its vitality, depleted of its force, and depleted of its effectiveness. Thus Paul wrote, “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone but on tables of human hearts,” (2Cor 3:2-3).
The stone tablets of the Law have been replaced by the law written on the human hearts of men and women who have accepted God’s offer of salvation. And to those who have accepted God’s Spirit, His Spirit is making those men and women like Jesus Christ.
Make me like Him,
Some men brought a paralytic to Jesus to be healed, (Matt 9). Jesus said to the man, “Take courage son; your sins are forgiven,” (NASB). How does one have courage when facing a difficult situation? Is it by love? No, for love fails. Is it by hope? No, for hope fades as quickly as the day. Is it by faith? No, for faith fears, and falters.
Love fails, hope fades, and faith fears what then is the abiding condition for courage? It is this: A clear vision of Jesus Christ. You say you don’t a clear vision of Jesus, then leave off vision and have only Jesus Himself. I change, He changes not. My love ebbs and flows, his love never dies. My faith, my hope, my love are not the final conditions of real courage, but Jesus Christ himself is. All our fears, and all our panics result from a dimmed vision of Jesus; a dimmed consciousness of Christ. I believe the fears we face today result from a lack of the sense of His presence.
Oh, trembling, terrified, troubled souls look to your Lord Jesus Christ, and with eyes fastened upon Him listen to His words, “Be of good courage.” What does that means? When he says that, He means this: He puts himself between your soul and all the forces in hell and earth that may come against you, and He rebukes them, casts them out, and defeats them.
Jesus came to the region of the Gadarenes, and was confronted by a demonically possessed man (Cf. Luke 8). Luke informs us that the man was violent, he wore no clothes, lived in the tombs, and no one could control him. Jesus permitted the demons to leave the man and enter a heard of pigs. The startled pigs ran down a hill and into the sea where they drowned. When the townspeople came out to see what had happened they found the man “Dressed and in his right mind” (8:35).
What Jesus did for the man he will do for anyone. What did Jesus do? He came to the man through “A furious storm” (Matt 8:24). He delivered him, healed him, restored him, and returned him to his family. The citizens of that area avoided the man, but Jesus treated him with love and respect.
What Jesus did for this man He will do for anyone who is in bondage and battle with life. He makes us whole, frees us from that which binds us, restores us from that which has broken us, and returns us to what we are supposed to be. Jesus gives us back the dignity that sin takes from us.
Jesus, a love like no other,
What are the realms which cause us to be afraid? In the briefest of terms there are two realms: The unknown future, and the unfathomable present. We think of tomorrow and we are afraid of what will come with the rising sun. We stand in a present moment and think how can I hold on to this moment? These then are the realms from which our fears come from.
In Moses farewell benediction to Israel he sang, “Elohim is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut. 33:27). In these words we find the comfort that we seek when we find ourselves afraid of the two realms that assault us. How you ask?
Elohim means: Mighty God, the God of creation. Therefore, He is the God of our beginning, and our dwelling place is underneath His everlasting arms. The Hebrew word underneath has a fascinating definition. It means the bottom, the uttermost limit of the depressing, humbling, and beating down. How far down can your imagination carry you? How deep have you been into life? How profound has been your experience of sorrow? How far have you sunk in some hour of weakness? How near have you come to death? When you recall your lowest level, then underneath that are the everlasting arms of God.
That which lies beyond our ultimate reach, that which lies beyond our imagination, and that which is beyond our thoughts is our God – Elohim.